Offering New Experiences from Classroom to Career
The Bedford One Program links high school students with local businesses based on their career interests. It is a partnership between the Bedford County Office of Economic Development, Bedford County Public Schools and area businesses. An advisory committee made up of representatives from the county’s business industries, the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development guides the program.
To date, more than 1,500 students have visited more than 50 businesses and success is measured through surveys that are distributed to the students and businesses immediately following a tour. Survey results show 90% of the students feel the tours are informative and reinforce their ideas about their career choices. Also, 92% of the students surveyed said they are more likely to work or return to work in Bedford County as a result of what they learned on their tour. Since this program was implemented in 2009, high school internships have increased to nearly 250 a year and apprenticeships and actual full-time jobs have even been offered in some cases.
Awards & Recognition
2013 Community Economic Development Award
Virginia Economic Developers Association
The Bedford One Program was selected as a winner in the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) 2013 Community Economic Development Awards.
Virginia Department of Education
The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education presented Bedford County Public Schools with a 2013 Creating Excellence Secondary Business and Industry Partnership Award on June 13, 2013 for the Career Internship program.
2011 Creating Excellence Award
Virginia Department of Education
On June 16, 2011, the Office of Economic Development was recognized for the One Program and named a Region V winner of the Business and Industry Partnership Creating Excellence Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education.
Bedford One Program Steering Committee
The Bedford County Office of Economic Development works in partnership with Bedford County Schools, Central Virginia Community College, the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, and an advisory committee that includes representatives from the county’s industries.
The committee is represented by Dr. Fred Conner, Barbara Rezzonico, Josselyn Gregory, Susan Hogg, Bob Ingram, De De Edwards, Dora Gaither, Heather Miller, Jim Burns, Stephanie Hart, Susan Martin, and Traci Blido.
Host a Student Tour
Embrace the opportunity to showcase your business with a tour for junior and senior high school students from Bedford County. It is our hope that this program will help students become aware of the level of sophistication and the diversity of jobs in this region. To schedule a student tour, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (540) 587-5670.
Bedford County Public Schools (BCPS) Career Internship Program
High school seniors develop leadership skills as they prepare for success in college and career fields through the BCPS Career Internship course. Students receive workplace readiness instruction through an instructor and participate in a three-hour per week internship at a local business aligned with their career interests. Participating students have the opportunity to earn the Virginia Workplace Readiness credential through this course. Most participating students affirm their career plans while a few discover new interests.
The High School Internship program has grown from 17 students in its first year (2011-2012) to more than 100 students today.
For more information, please contact Dr. Fred Conner, Supervisor for Career and Technical Education.